Digital Marketing Jargon Guide 2019

Digital Marketing Jargon Guide 2019

So here I am reading the submission guidelines for the DigitalGrads website and it specifically asks for no jargon.

I think that’s cool as it’s necessary for the target audience, but maybe it’d be worth putting together a helpful little jargon guide in order to help out with interviews.

The thing about digital marketing is that there are jargon terms and acronyms everywhere. I often joke that people are suffering from what I like to call ‘A.A.O.D’ – Acute Acronym Overload Disorder. As I write this, I’m due to be a Dad in 2 days, so you can’t blame me for the Dad joke, right?

So below I’ve listed a bunch of common and slightly obscure digital marketing terms along with their definition. I’ve kept the definitions simple, but this will help you to understand the lingo, especially when somebody uses an acronym. You will also noticed that I’ve used jargon terms when explaining other jargon terms. I’ve done that to try putting them into context and to also help you understand the relationship between different terms. I’m also hoping it’ll get you used to seeing/reading them in sentences.

The Essential Guide to Digital Marketing Jargon


301 Redirect

This is something you can use to redirect people from one web page to another. As an example, people might click on a link that will take them to this jargon buster, but DigitalGrads have since published an updated version. A 301 Redirect can be used to automatically take everybody clicking that link to the updated version.

404 Error

I’m sure you’ve probably encountered these before. It’s basically when you’re trying to reach a web page that doesn’t exist anymore. Instead, you’ll just land on a page that says ‘404’ on it.


Alt Text

Blind people will use special software that’ll read the text on a web page to them. The software will also describe what the images look like by reading out the alt text that a digital marketer has assigned to that image. You may have seen alt text if an image doesn’t load on a web page.


An algorithm is a piece of criteria or set of rules that search engines use in order to determine where a website will rank. Search engines will have numerous algorithms that look at different things. Caution: These change and update regularly, so your knowledge about algorithms will become outdated quickly if you don’t keep up with developments.

AMP – Accelerated Mobile Pages

Announced in 2015, AMP is a project to help people build websites, ads, emails and more that are fast on mobile devices and look good on them as well.



As said in the name: It’s another website linking back to your own. Somebody may reference your blog on their own website, but provide a link to the original article so people can go back to the source.

Banner Ad

An image or video ad that is placed on a website and shown to everybody. These used to be very popular, but you don’t see many these days.

Black Hat

This refers to all SEO tactics that Google dislike and will penalise you for. Black Hat tactics include keyword stuffing and fake reviews.


You’ve probably heard of a Bot account on social media. One example of a Bot would be a fake Twitter or Facebook profile that isn’t run by a human. It’s a robot that will often steal information and images from a real account.


This is when somebody lands on a web page and leaves without interacting with the page they’ve landed on. When running a website, your aim is to get the Bounce Rate as low as possible. Anywhere between 40-60% is acceptable.


Canonical (rel=canonical)

This is a piece of code web developers and digital marketers will add to a webpage in order to tell Google that the content on that page is either original or a duplicate of something else. It is used to avoid Duplicate Content issues.

Click Bait

This was a bit of a thing a few years ago. Have you ever seen those news article titles that say something like ‘You’ll Never Guess What Happened When She Tried This Diet Plan’. The label Click Bait comes from fishing where you attach a bit of Bait to the fishing line to attract fish (the same purpose as a Click Bait title). When the fish takes the Bait, they are stuck on the fishing hook (this is when you’ve clicked on the article).


This is whatever you’re seeing on the web page. Content can be written words, images, videos or anything else you want people to see.


This can be defined as many things, but the most common form of Conversion is a sale.

CPA – Cost-Per-Acquisition

Some people call this Cost-Per-Conversion, but the acronym for that would be CPC, which would then get confused with Cost-Per-Click. This is defined by how much it’s cost to acquire a new Conversion.

CPC – Cost-Per-Click

Remembering that you are paying each time somebody clicks on your ad in PPC, the CPC is literally the amount your are spending each time somebody clicks on your ad.

CPM – Cost-Per-Thousand

Rather than paying every time somebody clicks on the ad (PPC), you are paying every time it has been shown 1,000 times. The CPM will be the cost when it has been shown that 1,000 times.

Crawl Spider/Crawler

Search engines will explore your website in order to Index it and determine where to rank it. People like to imagine it as a spider (known as a Crawl Spider) going around the website and checking each page.

CTA – Call-To-Action

Ever watched a YouTube video and they’ve told you to “remember to click that subscribe button”? That’s a Call-To-Action. It’s telling the audience to do something.

CTR – Click-Through-Rate

The percentage of people who’ve clicked on your ad. As an example, if 10 people are shown your ad and 5 people click on it, your CTR will be 50%.

CSS – Cascading Style Sheets

Simply put, CSS is the visual aspect of a website. HTML contains the information that will be displayed on a website, but CSS defines how that information should look. Things like page colours and text-alignment are parts of CSS. To see this in practice, head over to CSS Zen Garden. All the text on the page is the same, but the CSS can be changed to show it in a different way.


Display Ads

These are the image ads you see on Google and the video ads you see on YouTube.

Duplicate Content

I’m sure you’ve heard about plagiarism at university before. Search engines are looking out for the same thing and call it Duplicate Content. Just make sure you’re not plagiarising yourself!


E-Commerce – Electronic Commerce

An online store. It could be Amazon, where you order products online or your local car garage, where you can book your MOT on the website.

External Link

These links will take you to another website. If you’d like to experience an example of an external website, click HERE.


Featured Snippet

Type a question into Google and you’ll probably see one of these come up. It’s a rectangular box that appears above all the search results. The Content within that box will be taken from one of the pages listed on the SERP, but not necessarily the top result. The idea is so that your question is answered quickly.

Follow Links (rel=follow)

This type of link tells the Crawlers to follow the link and record where it leads to. When trying to get more Backlinks for a website, you want to aim for Follow Links as they count towards your Backlink count.


Header Tag (H1, H2, H3, etc.)

Similar to how chapters in a book work, a Header Tag defines sections of a web page and prioritises the information. You have a range of 6 Header Tags, with 1 being the most important and 6 being the least. As an example, the title of this article (Digital Marketing Jargon Guide 2018) is using a H1 Tag as that’s the most important heading. It defines what this entire article is about, meaning you only ever use it once. The heading below that (The Essential Guide to Digital Marketing Jargon) is using a H2 Tag.

HTML – Hypertext Markup Language

This is the language of websites. It tells a web browser (what you’re using to view this website right now) the information that is on a web page.

HTTP – Hypertext Transfer Protocol

When you type a website into your browser and hit enter, you are basically sending a request to fetch data (remembering that HTML is the language of websites) from that website and display it on your browser.

HTTPS – Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure

This is the same as HTTP only more secure. If you’re using the Google Chrome web browser, you may have seen a warning message that stops you from accessing certain websites. This is because Google are trying to phase out HTTP and replace it with HTTPS. Take a look at the DigitalGrads URL – It starts with https://



When a social media post or ad is shown to somebody, it is called an Impression. The important part to remember is that if you get 500 Impressions, it doesn’t necessarily mean it was shown to 500 different people. It could have literally been the same person seeing your social media post 500 times.


Similar to how a business may be listed in a directory, a website is Crawled in order to be Indexed on a search engine. If your website isn’t Indexed, it won’t appear on the SERP.

IP Address – Internet Protocol Address

A unique number that identifies a device using the Internet. It can be used to provide your location to Google. That’s why you get local restaurant listings when you type ‘restaurants near me’ into Google. Try typing ‘what is my IP address’ into Google.

Internal Link

These are links that take you to other areas of the same website you’re on. Can you see ‘Your Job Search’ at the top of this page? That’s an Internal Link.


JS – JavaScript

This works with HTML and CSS to create interactive parts of a web page: Buttons, text boxes, etc.



A word or phrase that indicates the theme of your content. When you type something into Google, you are typing a Keyword or Keyphrase into the search bar. In case you’re wondering, the Keyword for this article is ‘Digital Marketing Jargon’.

Keyword Stuffing

This is where you are using the Keyword too often in a piece of content. Search engines will see this as a negative thing and rank you lower for it.


A measure of influence on social media. Check out your own Klout score on Twitter with SparkToro.


Landing Page

This is where you end up after clicking on a link. The term is most-often used for PPC campaigns. The Landing Page will be where people are taken to when they click on the ad.

Long-Tail Keyword

A Keyword that is quite long. Generally about 4 words or more.

LSI – Latent Semantic Indexing

Search engines use this to understand the context of a piece of writing. The best way to think about this is to consider words that are associated with the subject of your writing. As an example, if you were writing an article about ‘Coffee’, search engines would recognise words such as ‘Sugar’, ‘Mug’ and ‘Milk’ to be related to ‘Coffee’ through Latent Semantic Indexing.


Meta Description

Search for something on Google. See that grey text written underneath the link? That’s a Meta Description. It’s a piece of text intended to describe to people what to expect on the web page.

Mobile Device

Mobile phones and tablets. Pretty easy.


There are 2 meanings to this: One is simply a way of thinking. Thinking about how your website will look on a Mobile Device before considering how it’ll look on a computer or laptop is thinking Mobile-First.

The other meaning to Mobile-First is that Google will consider the website people see on a Mobile Device to be your primary website. Google will look at that version of your website before looking at how it’ll appear on a computer or laptop.


This is a fairly new phrase that’s used when discussing very young audiences. A lot of children and early-teens will only ever use a Mobile Device and never own a laptop or desktop computer. Therefore, some people argue that you should only think about how your website will look on a Mobile Device.


No-Follow Links (rel-nofollow)

If Follow Links tell the Crawlers to follow the link, I’m sure you’ve already guessed that No-Follow Links do the opposite and tell Crawlers to not count these links as a Backlink.


Organic Traffic

People who visit your website because they’ve typed in your web address or found you on Google are considered Organic Traffic. Basically, you didn’t have to pay to get them onto your website.


Paid Traffic

These are the people who got to your website by clicking on an ad.

Position Zero

A fancy term used instead of Featured Snippet.

PPC – Pay-Per-Click

This is a form of paid advertising/marketing in which you pay every time somebody clicks on your ad.


Responsive Website

A website that will adjust itself when somebody tries to look at it on a Mobile Device. If you’re using Google Chrome, check out the Responsive Web Design Tester extension you can download for free. This simulates how web pages will look when you view them on a Mobile Device.

ROI – Return on Investment

As an example: An online clothing store will invest or spend £1,000 on a PPC campaign that aims to bring Paid Traffic to the website and sell more clothes. The ROI is how much money the clothing store has made in sales from the Paid Traffic.


SEM – Search Engine Marketing

Do not confuse this with SEO! Search Engine Marketing, or SEM for short, is any type of paid marketing that involves a search engine.

SEO – Search Engine Optimisation

My favourite area of digital marketing! Simply put, SEO is getting websites to rank higher on search engines, such as Google.

SERP – Search Engine Results Page

Type a query into Google and you will bring up the SERP. It’s just the results listed by the search engine after you type something in.


A Session is measured in time. It begins when somebody lands on your website and ends when that person leaves your website. Naturally, you want a person’s Session to be as long as possible.


This is the bit on the end of a website URL. Taking the How To Distribute Your Content blog article from this website as an example, the URL is and the slug is ‘how-to-distribute-your-content’.


I’m sure you get plenty of Spam emails. In digital marketing, Spam usually refers to a bad backlink that comes from a website that isn’t relevant to your industry. As an example, a Spam Backlink for DigitalGrads would be one that came from a medical article about flu.


Title Tag

Not to be confused with Header Tags, the Title Tag won’t necessarily be noticed by humans as it’s main purpose is to tell search engines the topic of your page.


UI – User Interface

The area in which a user (that’s you) will interact with a web page. Think about the buttons at the top of this web page.

URL – Uniform Resource Locator

Also known as a web address. It’s simply the location of a web page. Think of your home address.

UX – User Experience

As described in the name, it’s how people interact with a website or web page. A good User Experience can be achieved with a website that’s easy to navigate and looks good. Bad UX can be seen on complicated websites that are hard to use.



A seminar or lesson that’s being held online. I wanted to have this in here because it’s an excuse to recommend joining a few webinars as a bit of extra training for yourself.

White Hat

This is the opposite to Black Hat in that Google likes these tactics. White Hat tactics include writing content that provides value and gaining backlinks from credible sources.

About post author

With aspirations to become a professional musician, George discovered his passion for digital marketing whilst studying guitar at the Brighton BIMM institute. After participating in the DigitalGrads program, George now works as a Deputy Team Leader at Growth by Design, as well as a freelance copywriter. On top of this, George still keeps up with music and plays guitar in the Hip-Hop band K.G.
Posted in Working in Commercial Roles